Plot: Stitch starts experiencing odd bouts of uncontrollable destruction. While everyone, even Lilo, starts believing Stitch is reverting back to his old ways, Jumba and Pleakley know the truth. Stitch’s molecules were never fully charged when he was created, and now he’s experiencing massive glitches in his programming that are causing these destructive episodes. They scramble to find a way to recharge him before he loses so much energy that he dies.
Meanwhile, Lilo and Stitch are preparing for a hula competition. Her mother won the competition years ago, and she wants to win to make her proud. However, Stitch’s malfunctioning behavior continues to get in the way.
Breakdown: I’ve never had such massive mixed feelings for a Disquel before.
The main plot is solid. Have Stitch revert back to his destructive behavior, but make it more of a Jekyl and Hyde situation based on him glitching instead of having him turn bad for no reason. There’s a lot that could’ve been done with that, but they dropped the ball pretty bad.
We have three plots running through the movie – Lilo and Stitch’s hula plot, Nani and David are having relationship issues again and Pleakley’s being an annoying dumbass trying to ‘help’ him, and Jumba is trying to make a new fusion chamber to recharge Stitch before it’s too late.
Let’s start with Nani and David’s plot because that’s the shortest and most pointless. First of all, are these two ever happy together? I don’t remember a lot of their interactions from the TV series, and I love David a lot, he’s a great boyfriend and father/big brother figure to Lilo, but he and Nani, as a couple, seem very rocky. I feel like every time the focus is on them in this franchise, they’re having relationship issues.
This time, as Pleakley puts it, their relationship is just fizzling. Nani doesn’t seem to be paying much attention for him or making time for him. David keeps making the effort, and Nani either doesn’t acknowledge it or can’t attend to it.
I know that Nani is very busy being a young single guardian to a small child, especially in the house filled with aliens they now inhabit, but she can usually make time for Lilo and does have downtime, yet never seems to be willing to give similar attention to David. Even when they’re just having a relaxing family fun night at home, he gets shafted.
The plot is mostly just David, for some reason, listening to Pleakley’s horrible dating advice, then Pleakley himself ruins it more, and Nani gets mad for some reason. The plot is resolved by David helping Nani up a mountain. Not kidding. One minute she’s giving him the silent treatment at Lilo’s hula competition, then they’re making eyes at each other when he helps her up the mountain. Truly a romance for the ages.
That doesn’t solve anything, by the way. Their relationship is still ‘fizzling’ You can’t solve actual relationship issues with goo-goo eyes.
The hula plot, which takes up more of the runtime than the glitch plot, oddly, involves Lilo and Stitch trying to come up with a hula for an upcoming competition. Her mother won the competition one year and she wants to win in order to make her mother proud of her.
A lot of this plot is montages of them coming up with ideas, creating the hula and practicing for the hula. Some parts were entertaining and a little funny, but it really felt stretched out when we got to our third montage in this hour long movie. Not to mention that I think they’re hitting the Elvis button a bit hard in this movie. I know she loves Elvis, and it does make for a good soundtrack, but I’ve seen Elvis movies with less Elvis.
There are also numerous emotional moments in this plotline because Stitch keeps destroying her plans when he has freakouts, and Myrtle and her goons keep making her feel like she’s not good enough. I also really liked the ancient story they based the hula on.
I feel like Lilo was a bit out of character with Stitch, though. I know she’s emotional right now, but she never once, until the end, even questioned if something was wrong with Stitch. Instead, she just believed him to be flatout bad, told him so and said he would always be as such. Ouch.
Speaking of the moment of realization, even though the freakout that prompted that revelation was the same as all the others, she questioned if something was wrong with him this time for some reason. He cuts her cheek, even drawing blood, and the very next shot, not but five seconds later, the cut and blood are gone. Either Disney didn’t commit to this ‘shocking’ moment, the animators got lazy or they forgot.
Either way, that was an opportunity for something emotional and impacting, like Nani freaking out that Stitch actually hurt Lilo or Stitch having a horrified look on his face after he injured her and reprised the shame later after she found him on the cliffside. But, no, just Disney magic’d it off her face.
This was meant to mirror a part of Stitch’s nightmare where he does the same thing, but, again, the impact is lost if you magic it off her face.
The ending of this plot was alright and pretty sweet. At least they didn’t go the cliché route of having her return to the competition and win, and it’s implied that Mertle definitely didn’t win because her hula was crap. I realize now that Mertle’s pretty much the only surviving embodiment of the annoying jerkass mainland tourist characters, besides the silent fat beachgoers, that they had in the original cut.
There are numerous deleted scenes from the first Lilo and Stitch movie where Lilo encounters obnoxious mainland tourists, some of which being borderline racist, but they were more or less all cut before the actual animation started. Mertle does live in Hawaii, but she’s the only white character in the entire series, and the hula implies that her father brought her family from the mainland to Hawaii to sell cheap ‘authentic’ Hawaiian merchandise.
I might be reading too much into that, but it’s interesting to consider.
Now to the actual plot of the movie, the glitch. This is the part with which I have the most problems.
First off, while it’s a solid plot, it’s ultimately wasted potential. All Stitch does is mess up a few things and give Lilo an insta-healing scratch. I didn’t want him to do too much damage or hurt people, but they had the foundation of a really decent plot here, one that could’ve been much more emotionally impacting and interesting for Stitch, but they decided to just have him be a slight nuisance.
Secondly, half of this movie would never have happened had Jumba and Pleakley just told Lilo, Stitch and Nani what was going on. I never understood why they were keeping this a secret or why they were letting this malfunctioning destruction machine stay running loose with a small girl.
If they had just told them what was happening, they wouldn’t have treated Stitch like a monster, Stitch and Lilo would’ve never fought, Stitch would realize he’s not inherently bad and wouldn’t feel like garbage, and maybe they could’ve helped save him. They also could’ve kept him contained to prevent him from causing damage and hurting people. But nope, it’s a secret for no reason.
Lastly, the resolution to this plot is so predictable it’s depressing. I predicted it by just reading the little blurb for the synopsis. Stitch causes problems, everyone gets mad at him, his glitches get too bad, death fake-out, Lilo’s love awakens him, all is well.
To make it even worse, they foreshadow the ending with Lilo’s hula story. It also has two friends being torn asunder by outside forces, resulting in one of their deaths, and love brings the other back to life.
Do I even need to mention that this lesson isn’t exactly a good one? Look, Disney, I know you love love, I know you love love=magic too, but teaching kids that love can be so powerful it can bring the dead to life is not really a healthy message.
To anyone who cares to disagree, let me remind you that Lilo is an orphan. She is probably one of the worst characters to be partaking in this trope. I just keep imagining:
Doctor: “I’m sorry, Nani and Lilo. We did everything we could to revive your parents, but I guess you just didn’t love them enough.”
I was actually going to give this moment a pass because Stitch did spend some time in the fusion chamber before he was revived in Lilo’s arms. Maybe he got enough power and then Lilo woke him up. But then we get this exchange.
Pleakley: “But…how is it possible?”
Jumba: “It’s not!”
So, the fusion chamber seemingly had nothing to do with it. Also, not only did Lilo’s love for Stitch bring him back to life, it also fully recharged his molecules.
Despite all of that, I can’t say I hated or even massively disliked this movie. It has plenty of funny moments and some pretty heartwarming ones too – the aforementioned death fake-out nearly had me getting misty-eyed, especially with the song they put in there – it’s just sloppily written and disappointing.
The art and animation are better than Stitch! The Movie. It’s somewhere between TV quality and the original movie’s quality, siding more with the movie quality.
The music is also definitely better than Stitch! The Movie with many more tracks, some new, some old, and a new vocal song made just for the movie, ‘Always’ which was very nice and relaxing.
The voice acting was well-done. Most of the cast reprises their roles from the original movie, except Daveigh Chase is replaced by Dakota Fanning. She does a remarkable job, though. I couldn’t even tell the difference.
I can’t believe I never realized David Ogden Stiers voiced Jumba. That’s so awesome.
All in all, the technical quality is great, but the story falls flatter than pancakes. It’s predictable out the gate, only gets more predictable with foreshadowing and most of the problems would’ve been fixed had Jumba and Pleakley just told them about what was going on. It’s not unsalvageable because it does have its moments, but it’s still a mess. It’s definitely on the higher end for a Disquel, but firmly middle of the road for a movie as a whole.
Recommended Audience: There’s kinda blood, a little, but the wound magically vanishes. Death is mentioned and there’s a reversed death. 5+
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Plot: Kenai and Koda are back, and Kenai has reunited with his old friend Nita who wants a favor. She’s trying to get married, but apparently she’s already been promised to Kenai after giving her an amulet when they were children. The great spirits support monogamy so they force Kenai and Nita to go to the place where the amulet was given to burn the amulet and break the bond between the two. However, even the simplest tasks can be complicated when love enters the picture.
Breakdown: I loved the movie Brother Bear. It’s not as dear to my heart as some other Disney movies, but I still loved it. It had wonderful visuals, a good story, mostly good characters and great music. One of the best things about Brother Bear is that it’s one of the few Disney movies to almost completely omit the subject of romance.
The main characters never fall in love, they have no romantic interests, and there’s no big get together or wedding at the end. The most romance that they had in that movie was some sappy couple of bears at the salmon run that were meant to be comedy focuses, and a passing flirtation with Denahi and a couple of girls. That’s it. There was no room in Brother Bear for romance because the story was set purely on the brothers; Kenai, Denahi and Sitka, and Kenai and Koda. The reason I loved that was because I am really just so sick of stories feeling like they need to shoehorn in romance into any and all storylines even if there’s no room or no point.
In this sequel, they rectify that by having the entire movie, subplots and all, be about love and marriage. Oh and brotherhood is squeezed in there somewhere. Every character that reappears in this movie gets a love interest beyond Koda, and love is shoved so far down your throat that it’s painful.
Well, let’s ruin another Disney movie for me. Welcome to Brother Bear 2.
We start with Kenai and Koda chasing each other as the opening music plays. The music’s somewhat reminiscent of the original movie’s, but noticeably different. The opening song, ‘Welcome to this Day,’ pales in comparison to ‘Great Spirits.’ Right from the start you can tell we’re in for a romance themed movie with swans making a heart shape with their necks to happy little goat parents watching their children.
Why hasn’t Koda grown….at all? In the least? It’s an entirely new year, yet he’s not even slightly bigger.
While one has not changed at all, the other has changed quite a bit as Kenai has had a voice change in this movie. I understand when they can’t get back original voice actors for sequels, especially direct-to-DVD ones, but Patrick Dempsey sounds nothing like Joaquin Phoenix.
They’re on their way to some ridge for the spring equinox to get all sorts of different berries to eat.
We have a short run-in with Tug, the big bear from the last movie voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan, who is really only there to plant the idea of romance into Kenai’s head by talking about his girlfriend. Kenai says they don’t need anyone else, but is clearly speaking with a bittersweet taste in his mouth.
We cut to a dream sequence that Kenai is having about a childhood experience. He and Nita were playing around in the snow using spears as pole vaults until Nita stuck the spear in too close to the edge of a floating piece of ice and fell into the water.
She’s saved by Kenai, who brought her up to the top of the nearby waterfall to warm up….What an awful place to warm up. The water rushing in front of the cave has to make it even more freezing in there than it is outside. As Nita tried to keep warm, Kenai gave her an amulet that he had been wearing and they drew stick figure drawings of each other on the cave wall. Nita’s father appeared on a boat below and she left never to see Kenai again I guess.
….Well, there’s your big story behind this character and the amulet. Real impressive, huh? Also, simply giving a girl, especially when you’re children, a wooden amulet is an instant promise of eternal bond? Meanwhile, we cut to another Inuit village where Nita is getting ready for her wedding.
The first scene with Nita is very reminiscent of the scene in Mulan that starts the ‘Bring Honor to us All’ song. She has two women who are never given names or explanations as to who they are to her clamoring over her every detail for the wedding. She tricks them into leaving as she puts on her wedding dress, which is the last thing that she has left of her mom. Oh yeah here’s something Disney doesn’t do very often, Nita’s mother is DEAD! Whawhawhaaaaa?
Her father comes in to talk to her before he gives her away saying how her mother would be proud and whatnot and they walk down the aisle.
It’s here where we see our first and practically only glimpse of Nita’s fiancée, Atka. He stands at the altar and gets no lines. There’s your characterization, people.
However, the great spirits will have none of that and send their mighty wrath upon the wedding by shooting down a lightning bolt which cracks the ground between the bride and groom. The villagers see this as a sign from the great spirits, and we cut to Nita meeting with a shaman about what to do about it.
She’s played by Wanda Sykes, because God forbid we just have serious characters. She invokes the powers of the great spirits who tell her that Nita has already been promised to another in the form of an amulet. In order to break the bond between the two, the couple must go to where the promise originated and burn the amulet. Nita tells the shaman that Kenai’s a bear now. How she knows that is unknown. Maybe village to village gossip? So even if she found him she wouldn’t be able to talk to him.
Also, remember how the spirits were the ones who changed Kenai into a bear? Remember how none of the characters had magical powers? Well, now we have a shaman who has the power to talk to the spirits whenever she wants and give people the ability to talk to animals. Hell, even the village elder from the first movie couldn’t understand what Kenai was saying when he got turned into a bear or do magic stuff. But screw that, we need to speed this movie up so ✸✮ MAGIC✮ ✸!!
She sets off on a journey to find Kenai an– are you kidding me? Not even a minute after she learns that she has to find Kenai….a bear….in the vast wilderness…..she finds, you guessed it, Kenai! In a scene that is reminiscent of when Nala finds Simba from TLK…She’s seen as a hunter by the boys and Kenai tries to protect Koda by attacking her, but finds that it’s Nita and puts her down.
Nita and Kenai reunite for a bit before she explains that she needs his help to burn the amulet that he gave her so that she can get married.
Kenai obviously feels a bit hurt that Nita wants to burn the amulet that he gave her when they were kids and refuses to go with her. She says that neither of them can go on with their lives if they don’t do this, but he still refuses.
….Wait, why can’t he go on with his life? He’s been doing just fine so far. It’s not like bears get married. But she, for some reason, brings up that the great spirits might turn Kenai back into a human again for some reason to help her burn the amulet.
…..What? How?…What? He’s not a bear under punishment anymore. He became a bear of his own volition. Even if they did offer that, why would he care? Unless…..wait, are they using his relationship to Koda as leverage? Are they technically keeping Koda hostage away from Kenai unless he agrees to help? Wow, that’s kinda awful, spirits and Nita.
Koda, hearing this, worries that they won’t be brothers anymore if they do turn him back. So, in order to sate Koda’s worries, he agrees to go to the waterfall to burn the amulet. Flimsy plotpoints are on buffet right now.
The boys and Nita run into the moose, Rutt and Tuke, the comic relief from the previous movie, as they’re also on a mission of love. They’ve been trying to find mates, but the girl moose that they’ve found won’t give them the time of day. Kenai agrees to help them by pretending to attack while Rutt and Tuke pretend to save the girls and win their hearts.
It ends up in an awkward to watch scene where both Kenai and Rutt and Tuke fail miserably at their roles. Kenai does an embarrassing job trying to attack, which is odd because he’s shown that he can seem threatening, and Rutt and Tuke actually end up getting so scared by Kenai’s lame acting that they fall into the river and float away. I get that the scene was meant to be lame, but that was painful.
Kenai ends up getting kicked into a hollow log by the girl moose before they leave as well. In an attempt to get Kenai unstuck from the log, we realize that Nita has a fear of water ever since she nearly drowned as a child. She loses her bag containing the amulet in the river and is too scared to simply lean over and grab it from the water. She has a fit as the bag starts to float away and breaks the log that Kenai was stuck in as she yells at him to retrieve it for her. It goes over a waterfall, but quickly ends up on shore, somehow. As she breathes a sigh of relief, a comic relief raccoon comes over, sifts through her bag and steals the amulet. Why? Because padding.
I’m just now realizing that Kenai doesn’t have his totem around his neck. It was given back to him at the end of the first movie. What happened to it?
Anyway, Kenai, feeling guilty for apparently being responsible for her losing the necklace, goes off in the middle of the night to find the raccoon. He spends all night tracking it down, and then Nita barges in and climbs the tree when Kenai was waiting for the raccoon to fall asleep to take it without bothering them. That’s the way to repay someone for doing a favor to you and working their ass off all night; by doing your best to ruin their hard work and not thanking them at all.
She makes too much noise and alerts the raccoon. He doesn’t notice Nita, but sees the boys. They ask for the necklace back as Nita tries to retrieve it herself. He then calls on his raccoon brethren of about 100 friggin’ raccoons as backup. What exactly happened to everything being afraid of this BEAR? The raccoons pelt him with pinecones until Kenai offers a trade. He has nothing to trade, but Nita has the amulet so who cares?
However, there’s a baby raccoon clinging to the necklace. She shoos him off, but then he cries for his mommy, which alerts the raccoons to Nita’s presence and they start chasing her. I should mention that this scene is very reminiscent of the scene in Tarzan where Jane makes a baby monkey cry because she shoos it off of something she wants and then is chased by hundreds of monkeys. What is going on in this movie? There are so many scenes seemingly taken from other Disney movies, yet the movie itself is boring as hell.
Kenai tells her to climb to the top of the tree while all of the raccoons follow her. He advises her to let go because he’ll catch her, and they send the raccoons flying while sending themselves flying into a snowbank. Then they speak a mile a minute about what just happened while ending on how amazing the other is in a scene that is very reminiscent of a scene in a fellow Disney sequel, Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure. Really, what is going on?
We’re at the halfway point in the movie and I’m still failing to get into it. Nita’s really annoying. She’s pushy, whiny, selfish and just an overall chore to watch. Koda’s annoyed me since the first movie and he’s no better here. Kenai’s okay, but his different voice and constant slapstick gags get old fast. The subplot with Rutt and Tuke is just embarrassing to watch. I didn’t mind them much in the first movie, but they’re pretty awful here. They’re there to push the message of love and extend the runtime. That’s about it.
As for the plot, it’s very thin. It’s obvious as hell that Nita’s not going to end up marrying Atka especially since he’s not even a character so much as a picture with a name. He has no personality and no dialogue thus far. She’s gonna fall for Kenai, and, if that shaman was any indication, she’ll likely get turned into a girl bear and they’ll live happily ever after.
Anyhoo, we meet back up with Rutt and Tuke who are still trying to court the girl moose. They’re rubbing themselves with dead leaves, mud and, thanks to a prank from Tuke, poop, in order to attract them with scent.
Poop jokes? Really? That’s what we’re reduced to? Thanks, Disney.
Kenai tells them that he has another idea, but Nita explains that his last plan sucked. Kenai then decides to brush off the whole situation and go to the falls, but Nita decides that she wants to stay which is completely against the way that she has been acting this entire time. She’s been hell-bent on burning that amulet at the falls since she arrived, not willing to put up with any nonsense that interrupts them. Now she wants to delay her trip?
Nita sends Koda out to the girls to act all cute and cuddly even though bears, ya know, eat moose. They’re all in love with the little guy, and Koda says that he’s playing hide and seek with his two best friends. Rutt and Tuke then come out asking if they’ve seen their bear friend. Koda comes out and they act all cute with him, tickling him and laughing and whatnot.
The girls are all impressed with how good they are with the kid. They finally look like they’re going to get a date, but Rutt, for reasons beyond my understanding, suddenly blurts out poetry which makes him look like an idiot. Tuke knocks him down and walks way with both girls stating that his brother was hit on the head as a child and Rutt runs to follow. Bros before hoes doesn’t apply to moose apparently.
Nita and Kenai basically flirt about how she was able to hook them up but he wasn’t and they ignore Koda’s pleas for attention at impressing them with how good he acted during the plan.
Kenai explains that the falls are close as they only have to go a short ways and cross the river to get there by lunchtime the next day. Obviously the whole water-phobia thing comes into play so Nita suggests instead of going through the river that they climb a bunch of mountains and crap to avoid it.
Kenai and Koda practically laugh at the stupid route she suggested, and they vote to go their way, but she refuses like a stubborn child. Koda flips a fish out of the river for lunch which lands in Nita’s hands and makes her fall into the river. She flips out and immediately makes her way to shore.
Koda believes that she’s afraid of fish so Kenai and Koda quickly start laughing at her for it. Koda even takes the fish that he caught and does a puppet show about how scared she is of fish.
Wow, how completely insensitive and assholeish of you guys. First of all, she’s freaked out at the concept of water three times by now. That’s not a big enough hint that she’s afraid of water?
Second, even if she was afraid of fish, that’s no reason to act like an ass.
Third, this water-phobia thing is getting old, and it doesn’t even make complete sense. I can understand if she didn’t display outright signs of trauma after she was rescued as a child, but she left that scene ON A BOAT! If she’s so traumatized by water to the point where she won’t even lean over and grab a really important bag out of a slow as hell moving river, how did she easily get into a boat and paddle away? She’s so scared of water I really have to wonder how she handles bathing or gentle rainshowers.
Kenai realizes that they’re upsetting her, so he yells at Koda to stop it. He doesn’t explain why, especially since he was laughing with him a minute ago, he just sighs in disappointment and goes to comfort Nita. He apologizes, and she explains her phobia of water and how she can’t go through the river because of it. Kenai says that they got through this much together so they’ll get through that together as well.
Thus begins the ‘Koda Neglect montage’. Basically we have a montage of Nita and Kenai flirting and having fun together as they travel, while Koda is either treated like crap or completely ignored the entire way. Kenai stops Koda from walking on a log bridge to let Nita go first, he and Nita completely block Koda’s view of a mama bird feeding her baby birds, they nearly KILL HIM by not noticing or caring when he nearly falls off of a mammoth that they’re riding, barely able to hold onto the tail, and every other scene with Koda shows him being completely ignored.
The song accompanying this montage is also okay, but it’s not very memorable.
The montage ends upon reaching the riverside. Kenai gives Nita a ride on his back to cross the river, and, after going under the water and seeing turtles, she’s completely over her fear of water to the point where she actually gets off Kenai and swims to shore on her own.
What utter and complete bull. Yes, facing your fears helps you get over them, but a quick dip in the river and seeing some turtles shouldn’t be enough to completely cure you of a crippling phobia that you’ve had since you were a child that was caused by a traumatic near-death experience. It’s also a completely anticlimactic and stupid end to that insipid plotpoint.
Kenai and Nita walk away on the other side of the river, and Koda watches them with sadness as he continues to get ignored. They’ve been ignoring him in his entirety all day. I’d be surprised if they even realize he’s still traveling with them. What a good big brother Kenai turned out to be.
As Koda broods, we get another appearance by Rutt who has also been ditched by his brother for those floozies from before. He tells Koda to watch out because his brother might do the same thing to him. Rutt and Tuke; good for stupid comic relief and giving awful messages to children.
Koda doesn’t believe that Kenai would ever ditch him, but obviously has doubts.
Koda crosses the river and eavesdrops on Kenai and Nita who are laughing and talking by a fire not even realizing that Koda could’ve drowned behind them eons ago and no one would’ve been the wiser. I have a feeling these two are somehow the ancestors of the parents from Rugrats.
Nita asks Kenai if he’s ever considered going back to being a human. He says that he’s thought about it, and before you can say ‘obvious misunderstanding’, Koda interrupts and says that Kenai is going to leave him for Nita and become a human again and he runs away. Kenai and Nita sit on their asses long enough for him to get a good head start.
So yeah now they’re ripping off their own movie. Koda ran away in the last movie too, also in the snowy mountains.
Kenai and Nita search for him by following his tracks in the snow. Even though Kenai showed amazing tracking skills with those raccoons, he completely misses the footprint that leads into an ice cave, but Nita finds it. She also fails to tell Kenai because the plot said that Nita and Koda needed to have a heart to heart.
Nita finds Koda hiding in a hole in the wall of the ice cave and tries to bring Koda back, claiming it’s not safe, but he refuses. As the cave starts to collapse, he jumps into Nita’s arms. Well, that’s kinda what she meant by unsafe….
They manage to escape, but Koda gets pinned under a bunch of ice. Nita saves him, but flings them over the cliff in the process. They dangle over the edge while an avalanche occurs due to the collapse. They somehow ride the broken cliff piece on top of the avalanche (rocks do that?) but inevitably get buried. Kenai spots them and surprisingly only yells out Koda’s name. As he digs them out, again, all he says is Koda’s name. Ya know, you can show concern for both of them. There’s no need to play favorites just because Koda overreacted prematurely and you’re a terrible brother.
Koda explains that he believes Kenai’s going to leave him to go off with Nita and become human. He said he does miss being human, but they’re brothers and he’d never leave him. If Koda had just let Kenai finish his sentence before, this whole thing could’ve been avoided….
Hearing this, Nita gets all whiny. How did we go from constant slapstick and stupidity to butthurt city and stupidity?
We cut back to Rutt and Tuke where they’re watching the northern lights. Rutt’s off on his own while the girls are cuddling with Tuke who asks Rutt to get them some twigs, and Rutt chokes back tears and agrees to go. Hearing that he’s crying, the girls instantly gravitate to his sensitivity and cuddle with him. These girls are more easily swayed than girls who thrive on teen romance novels.
They reach the falls and see the lights as they prepare to view the spring equinox.
Oh did I forget to mention that in this universe the spring equinox is a magical event made by the great spirits? It happens in an instant. Yup, the great spirits turn winter into spring in mere moments, melting feet of snow, growing grass, blooming flowers and more. Because gradually doing that stuff over the course of a few weeks wouldn’t have meshed well with the movie.
Koda brings up connecting with his dead mom through the lights as Nita mentions her dead mom as well. We get some cliché line about how you don’t need to see the spirits to know that the people that you have lost are within your heart forever. The speech couldn’t be more cliché if it were on a Hallmark card.
Despite this talk about spirits and dead relatives and this being called BROTHER Bear, I guess dead brothers need not apply to this conversation because Kenai never brings up his dead brother from the previous movie, Sitka.
The guy dies for you, turns you into a bear to teach you a life lesson, and is a friggin’ eagle, which is awesome, yet you can’t even give him a verbal cameo? Nice. I will give some slack here as to why Kenai’s other brother, Denahi, makes no appearance as his voice actor committed suicide before this movie was created. However, he can still be mentioned.
They start the burning and the lights vanish. After the amulet is gone, Nita tries to talk to the boys, but finds that the spell broke with the burnt amulet. This creates a mirror of the same scene from the last movie where Kenai becomes human and is hurt when he can’t understand Koda’s words. She tearfully says goodbye while Kenai and Koda simply roar and grunt at her.
We get our first sad song as they go their separate ways. It’s actually a very good song. Much more memorable than the songs we’ve been given. It has a nice somber tone and melody that fits the mood well. I wouldn’t say it’s as good as ‘No way out’ but I still like it.
Koda and Kenai reach some food while Nita reunites with her family and prepares for her wedding.
Koda talks with Kenai about Nita. He asks if her gave her the amulet because he loved her and he says it was a long time ago so it doesn’t matter. Kenai goes off to sleep to get to the ridge with all the berries that they were going to early in the morning.
Koda speaks to the spirits, moreso his mom, telling her that he’ll be fine on his own and that they should turn Kenai back into a human so that he can be happy. The spirit lights….flicker for some reason and we cut to Kenai waking up. They kinda trick you into thinking that the spirits did turn him back, but he’s still a bear. Rutt and Tuke inform him that Koda ran off to find Nita and bring her back to him to make him happy. Kenai freaks out because Koda will be killed by hunters the instant that he sets foot in the village.
We cut to Nita getting ready for her wedding again. She’s having doubts this time and tells her father than she can’t marry Atka. Aw, but we got to know him so well and fell in love with him during that 32 seconds of screentime with no dialogue or backstory. And we know she truly loves him because she never talks about any aspects of him whatsoever and really never brought him up at all. Such a shame.
They’re interrupted by screams as Koda runs around being chased by the villagers. Nita tries to stop them to no avail. We finally get dialogue from Atka a full hour into this hour and 13 minute long (including credits) movie. However, we don’t learn much about him besides he’s like every man in the village in that if a bear entered it, they’d want to kill it. Kenai bursts onto the scene roaring to get them away from Koda. They run away with Kenai getting grazed on the back by a spear, but don’t worry, the wound’s gone mere seconds later. Continuity!
Kenai sticks Koda in a tree and tells him to stay low while he drives them away. Despite doing his best to hide, other hunters catch Koda anyway while laughing like stereotypical villains.
Rutt and Tuke surprisingly show up to save the day, but end up getting caught up in a tree as they try to jump on the hunters. Conveniently, the tree breaks and falls on the hunters, leaving Koda unharmed and the girls once again impressed.
Kenai tries to run away from Atka, but he can’t shake him. Kenai jumps onto a cliff, and Atka throws his torch on it to spook him while jumping on him with his spear. The two fight while Nita catches up to them. She tries to get them to stop, but only Kenai does. Atka throws the torch in Kenai’s face and pushes him over the edge of the cliff. I guess this scene could resemble the scene in The Lion King where Scar did the same thing, but not exactly.
Nita scolds Atka for what he’s done and goes to Kenai’s aid. Yes, Atka. You’re awful for doing what you were taught to do your entire life and has never been seen as wrong until this very moment since the bear was your fiancée’s friend. Oh and protecting the village from what appeared to everyone else as a violent rampaging bear. You bastard!
Nita and Koda go to Kenai’s side. He’s supposedly hurt but I don’t see how. Koda and Kenai are still speaking to each other in roars and grunts since Nita can’t understand them. It’s odd. This scene is the only emotional scene to me only because of the subtlety involved with not being able to understand them.
Kenai puts out his paw and Nita matches it with her hand, again, like Tarzan, and Kenai puts it to his heart to say ‘I love you.’ Eugh. Nita admits her love for him too, and the great spirits make a cameo again. Apparently they’re loading the ‘Make Kenai human’ program as Koda tells them what he asked them to do and that it’s okay because he just wants Kenai to be happy again. Kenai tells Nita that he can’t become human and leave Koda, but Nita tells him that she can join him instead – BOOM! CALLED IT! NITA → BEAR RESOLUTION!
Nita’s father comes and asks her if this is what she truly wants. She says yes, and he gives her his blessing. What a cool dad. Interracial marriage still isn’t cool to some people, but he’s letting his daughter turn into a bear to marry a bear. We can all learn a lesson here, people. It involves bestiality in some way I think, but it’s still an important lesson to learn.
Also, since when do people order the spirits around? Last I checked, they do what they want when they want unless they feel like giving you a choice. What, is Koda’s mom pulling strings up there?
I’m sorry to say that, while the intro almost sounds like a remix, we don’t get a reprise of ‘Transformation’ from the last movie, which sucks because that’s one of my favorite instrumental songs in the Disney franchise. Instead we get some mish mash dramatic music that sounds cobbled together…..
Nita looks….kinda weird as a bear, and we cut to their bear wedding with bear friends and the village merging together. Right, the villagers who were laughing maniacally at catching a bear cub are now cheering at a bear wedding. Okay, movie. Atka’s nowhere to be found here, by the way. I guess he got burned at the stake for trying to kill a bear which is now seen as a friend. Damn that bastard who only got about two minutes of total screen time and about two full lines!
This is a legit issue with me, though, because we’re left thinking that Atka’s an asshole when he’s supposedly a really nice and honorable guy. They could’ve resolved this a lot better. Have Atka be understanding like a good friend. If Nita really did love him enough to go through all this to marry him, he can’t be all that bad.
Surprisingly, Eagle-Sitka does make a brief appearance at the very end though.
The raccoons from before are also there to cheer them on for reasons beyond my understanding. Why would you cheer on characters that stole what you believed was your stuff and flung you across the forest by a tree?
We end on the great spirits changing the cave wall drawing of Kenai and Nita as humans together to bears. Because little details like that need to be changed by great and powerful spirits.
Wow was that a big disappointment. To it’s credit, they could’ve done a lot worse, but what they did do still wasn’t really good. The movie’s a bore. It’s predictable as hell, the tone is so much more different than the original, Kenai and Nita’s backstory as well as the story of Atka and Nita aren’t fleshed out enough or, in the latter’s case, at all.
Why did Kenai love her back then? Because they played for a minute and he rescued her as she almost drowned? Why were they best friends? What did that amulet mean to Kenai? He’s the one who was wearing it before he gave it to Nita. It must’ve meant something to him. What was the story with Atka? Was it an arranged marriage thing like Pocahontas and Kokoum? What’s his backstory? How’d she meet him? Does he have any form of personality beyond hunting and standing at the altar? Why’d she never see Kenai again after that incident at the falls? How’d her mom die?
This is one of those movies that had nothing to really build on. The story decisively concluded. You could’ve done something with it, but why’d they have to go the cliché angle of making a sequel for the sake of giving everyone a love interest? Except Koda, I guess, but now he has an older sister/mom figure.
Brother Bear is really a movie that shouldn’t have been built on, however. Other than possibly showing us a grown-up Koda having some adventure or learning an important life lesson, there’s just not much to be done here. The story has a solid beginning, middle and most of all, end. No one was yearning for Kenai to get married after that.
Nita is annoying during the first half, but gets gradually more tolerable as time goes on. I never reach a point where I actually like her, but she was reaching good annoyance levels in the first half, so at least she avoided the dangers of my wrath.
On a technical aspect, the art and animation is very good for a Disquel, even if they seem to be going overboard with the color saturation, but not quite as good as the previous movie. It’s Direct-to-DVD-ish while not being TV-series-ish like Hunchback 2 or Aladdin 2 or 3. Also, we don’t have nearly as many epic views or sights to look at, if any, during this movie unlike the first one where practically everything was gorgeous.
The music was also better than most Disney sequels, but nothing particularly memorable to me outside of that one sad song. Phil Collins doesn’t return to do anymore work on this movie, which is disappointing.
The acting is good, but I can’t mesh Patrick Dempsey with Kenai. He just doesn’t sound right.
Bottom Line: As a movie, it’s just okay. As a Disquel, personally, I’d skip it, especially if you were a fan of the previous movie. It’s a predictable, confusing and lifeless movie meant to shoehorn in some love stories into the Brother Bear universe. The writing’s not very good and there are many scenes that seem almost ripped directly from other Disney movies. It has some moments that are legitimately good, and it didn’t make me seriously angry, but it’s absolutely nothing that you’d need to watch unless you like watching Mary Sue Disney fanfiction come to life. It could’ve been much worse, but I still can’t recommend it.
Recommended Audience: I think we actually get a fairly subtle sex joke. At the beginning of the movie, Rutt and Tuke are being chased by a buffalo or something while looking for a mate, and Rutt says that she looked like a moose from behind….yeah. Other than that, it’s your basically sterile Disney sequel. 5+
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Plot: The mice from the original movie miss the re-telling of the Cinderella story, which they don’t need to hear because they were there the entire damn time. So, they decide to make their own storybook containing three stories after the original movie concluded.
Ah, the Disney sequels. How pointless and utterly awful (most) of you are. I wasn’t excited about this as much as I was dreading it. I mean, come on, who wants a Cinderella 2? (Or 3 for that matter…..It exists.) It’s a pretty cut and dry story. It’s even worse considering that this movie isn’t so much a movie as it is three separate short stories comprised together to make one movie.
The first short is Cinderella’s first day in the castle. Prince Whatshisface and King Evenmoreforgettable suddenly leave the castle to go to Plotdemandedthisland immediately after Cinderella’s honeymoon. She hasn’t even reached the door before they’re off on their carriages.
The king has an annual banquet coming up, and despite the fact that he’s supposedly completely anal about having every detail of the banquet being perfect and the fact that he was saying Cinderella had no clue how to be a princess mere moments ago, he puts the entire banquet planning in her hands. Madame Iforgotalready is tasked with training her to be a princess while she plans the banquet.
Cinderella is clearly intimidated the instant that she walks through the door, but becomes even moreso when she’s completely overwhelmed by Madame’s demands to be a presentable princess which include keeping the curtains closed, wearing dresses, standing up straight and NOT COOKING. Jeez, what a harpy. Though I do wonder about the curtains. There’s no other light source in that castle, why do they insist on keeping it so dark? So she walks out and whines and complains to the mice about what she’s going through.
Oh, I’m sorry Princess Cinderella. Is this lavish and wonderful life that quite literally fell into your slave lap not to your liking? I am so sorry for you. Have a Disney brand sad face.
She then decides to take matters into her own hands. She dons her regular clothes, takes to the streets and starts planning the banquet the way that she wants to. She invites commoners, who supposedly aren’t allowed in the castle despite commoners being invited to the ball from the last movie, makes up fun dances and makes chocolate pudding for dessert….Which is weird.
I should also mention that this entire thing goes on during a montage with a song that sounds more suited for Hannah Montana.
Everyone but Madame Underwearinabunch is pleased with her changes, but the big test comes when the King comes back! And, predictably, he’s at first enraged by the changes, but instantly changes his mind at each one. WHO OPENED THE CURTAIN >:0 –What a lovely moon! 😀 NO PRUNES FOR DESSER 😡 –HELL YEAH CHOCOLATE PUDDING! 😀
The Madame falls ill with a sudden bout of Disney princess speed-love with the King’s adviser and Cinderella and the Prince kiss. The end.
Well, how boring.
The next segment focuses on Jaq (The mouse.) He’s too small to help Cinderella in the big house she now resides in, so the Fairy Godmother, not content to let anyone try to fix their problems on their own, turns Jaq into a human. Because you were always curious what that would be like when watching the first Cinderella, right? What Jaq would be like as a human? Oh and Cinderella’s tasked with planning yet another party because no one else ever does a damn thing.
Jaq is also being stalked by the royal evil cat, Paw-paw or something. Because they needed a stand-in for Lucifer from the last movie. Kinda like how the crocodile from Peter Pan was replaced with an octopus in the sequel. This cat is also stalking Jaq as a human now because, by cat logic, and I’m not making this up, one human equals a lot of friggin’ mice. So we might see a guy being mauled to death by a fluffy white kitty.
Skip yet another horrific poppy crap song.
While trying to explain to Cinderella who he is, he’s mistaken for some other guy who’s famous/rich/royalty take your pick. Long story short, he starts screwing everything up and this somehow causes him to make an elephant that the King is riding on at the festival go crazy. The Fairy Problem Solver comes back and tells him that this is the perfect time for him to help because all elephants are afraid of mice.
So he decides to turn back, but for some reason not at that second. He goes back and tries to stop the elephant while still in human form while FGM stands there forgetting her magic words. If only she had a song written about them! And she turns him back into a mouse right in front of everyone. Jaq is reunited with Mary (girl mouse) and Cinderella commends him for coming through when she needs him….Ya know, especially considering that he was the cause of every problem that occurred there.
Lesson learned: If you can’t help with other problems, create problems that only you can solve.
The final segment is the one I was waiting for – the one where Anastasia, one of Cinderella’s evil bitch stepsisters, falls in love. Because I know I, as well as everyone else in the world, really wanted to see one of Cinderella’s hag sisters fall in love and live happily ever after. Other than having a movie portraying what really happened to the orange and male cub at the end of The Lion King, that is one of my most valued Disney mysteries.
Oh and in case you’re wondering how long it takes HER to find her love and fall in love (At first sight of course); clocked in at 3 minutes, 21 seconds. Yes. I timed it. Be jealous of how cool I am.
Now I’m fairly certain that we’re supposed to take Anastasia’s somewhat OOCness as off-screen character development. Like she saw Cinderella get whisked away by a prince and fall in love so now she’s rethinking her own life and imagining what it’s like to fall in love. However, since we didn’t see this transformation, it’s still OOCness. And she’s still a bitch, so I don’t know what we’re supposed to feel here.
Anyhoo, as she’s in the marketplace looking for a new dress to wear so that she can find a man at YET ANOTHER PARTY THAT CINDERELLA’S HOLDING
she’s lured into a bakery by the smell of freshly baked bread and comes face to face with her true love who actually looks like a real person holy frickin’ crackers. However, she’s torn away from him after their exchange of two lines of dialogue and thus Cinderella deduces that love has been torn asunder.
I think there’s something in the water in every Disney movie ever made, and it’s probably mutated pheromones.
She tries to help by getting her various animal friends to bring them together, but ends up making Anastasia crash into the bakery getting covered in baking products, and she runs out crying and embarrassed. She’s made into a laughingstock and runs to a hidden fountain (Because people hide fountains apparently). Nice going, Cinderblockhead.
Oh and Lucifer (suddenly) falls in love with Poo-poo or whatever her name is so the mice help him get her, because we need to fill up that ENTIRE hour and ten minutes, counting five minutes of credits.
Cinderella takes Anastasia to the castle to give her a makeover to get the baker’s heart. It’s here where we get another musical montage (Set to a makeover. How original.) that is by far the worst of the movie. Not only is the song awful, but the lyrics are “It’s what inside that counts” set to a makeover montage! ♪ It’s what’s inside that counts as long as you look hot. ♪
You know what else I love? That makeover montage was 100% pointless. She and Lucifer (Yeah, the mice gave him one) go back to looking exactly the same once they leave the castle mere moments later.
Cinderella brings Anastasia to the marketplace to see the baker, and Anastasia sees the baker showing a ring of flowers (Meant to be a sign of love during the party thing) to an unnamed woman who’s just his friend. It’s established beforehand that she is just his friend and that he’s intending on giving the flowers to Anastasia, so there’s no tension here. We know exactly what will happen. She’ll see them together, think he’s giving the flowers to her, run off crying in despair, mope around for a while and then he’ll find her, explain the big misunderstanding and then they’ll live happily ever after.
Meanwhile Lucifer presents a bouquet of fish to Ping-pong, and, after deeming him physically appropriate after, I guess, another makeover and taking the fish, she falls for him too. Predictably, they decide to now team up against the mice. After getting water dumped on her head by Jaq, she slams the fish bouquet on Lucifer’s head and walks away….How was that his fault? How did that make sense? Could you really not find a better way to pan out a few minutes in this movie?
The baker looks everywhere for Anastasia, but can’t find her and the flower ring gets eaten by some random goat that comes out of nowhere, leaving him with a tattered flower. Coincidentally, Anastasia is crying on the same fountain that he came to mope on (Fountains: great for the morbidly depressed) He gives her the flower and never is the other woman brought up. Why even have that plotline…or plotdot there to begin with then? She just accepts the flower and we get Carnation instant love.
The evil stepmother and Drizella (other step sister) see them, and she tries to take her away from the baker claiming he’s not good enough to date. They then take her flower and throw it on the ground. Anastasia refuses to go with them, claiming that she’s in love with the baker (Who never gets a name, by the way. Real important character you are, Mr. Nameless.)
Somehow he deduced that she’s sweet even though no evidence was given towards that, and states that they’re also going to the ball together. Stepbitch and Drizella, who is staring at them in such a way that I can imagine yet another story like this popping up, then go away. Anastasia and baker then dance by the fountain, which transitions to dancing in the ball and that’s the end of that story.
The mice then show Cinderella the book and they read it even though they just spent the last hour telling the stories and, ya know, they were all there for those events…. I guess mice have awful memories. And speaking of awful, this was awful.
Why did they need to separate it into three stories? It would’ve worked a lot better if one story (probably the last one) had been kept and fleshed out into an actual movie. Show how Anastasia developed from a bitch into a slightly nicer bitch in love. Show the emotional turmoil of transitioning from a peasant into a princess, even though that’s a stretch. Show….okay the second story’s unusable, but you get my point. This just seems like a disjointed mess of “What if’s” and “Do you wonder what happened after?”
The stories are boring, make little sense and what sense I can make out of them makes me mad.
We also end on a pop song for the credits with Cinderella references in it.
Oh and Tress MacNeille voices Anastasia here. She played Babs in Tiny Toons and Dot in Animaniacs, so that was incredibly distracting.
Bottom Line: All in all, this ‘movie’ isn’t a movie. It’s three shorts cobbled together to barely pass as a TV movie. The shorts themselves are stupid and usually don’t make much sense. This might be nice for really young kids to keep them quiet for an hour, but other than that it’s just not worth your time.
Recommended Audience: It’s Cinderella….And Disney….do the math.
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